Most people feel shy, nervous, or uncomfortable in certain social situations or settings. It is normal to feel a certain level of anxiety, which can even help you perform your best or present the best version of yourself. However, for individuals with social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, everyday social interactions cause levels of fear, embarrassment, and anxiety that are so challenging and persistent that it interferes with their ability to function in everyday life.
At Harmony Hills, our anxiety treatment program in Florida utilizes a combination of evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities to help clients overcome the symptoms of social anxiety to lead a healthy and productive life. We know that anxiety disorders typically do not heal on their own and worsen over time without treatment. Call 855.494.0357 to learn more about the benefits of social anxiety disorder treatment in Florida.
Recognizing the Signs of Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder’s numerous signs and symptoms fall into emotional, physical, and behavioral categories. Following is a closer look at each:
- Persistent feelings of awkwardness, embarrassment, or self-consciousness around others
- The constant fear that others are judging you
- Extreme worry that you will embarrass or humiliate yourself in front of others
- Finding it difficult or scary to be with others, especially people you do not know
- Fearing that others will notice that you are feeling anxious
- Muscle tension or rigid body posture
- Rapid heart rate
- Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach
- Feeling like your mind has gone blank
- Blushing, sweating, or trembling
- Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or unable to cannot catch your breath
- Avoiding places where there are other people or where you will be the center of attention
- Expecting the worst possible outcomes from social situations
- Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of embarrassment
- Feeling highly anxious in anticipation of an activity or event
- Spending an excessive amount of time analyzing and critiquing how you acted in a social situation
The signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder can change over time and may intensify during periods of significant change or increased stress. While social anxiety disorder can feel very isolating, if you have it, you are not alone. Experts predict that nearly 15 million Americans have a social anxiety disorder, which typically has an onset during adolescence.
5 Tips for Managing Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder does not have to control your life by preventing you from trying new things, meeting new people, or preventing you from reaching your full potential. Like other anxiety disorders, social anxiety is treatable. Consider the following five tips for managing social anxiety:
- Challenge your negative thinking – Negative thoughts fuel social anxiety and cause you to misread significantly or misinterpret people and situations. Ask yourself how realistic your thinking is and challenge negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Learn to control your breathing – Anxiety can cause you to feel shortness of breath, making you feel more anxious. Take time to connect with your breath and slow it down. Taking just a few slow, deep breaths can significantly impact your feelings.
- Practice and prepare – Ask the people you are comfortable with to role-play specific scenarios that make you anxious or try going someplace new with them. Use deep breathing and relaxation techniques to calm yourself down before leaving the house.
- Take the focus off yourself – Most people cannot tell how anxious you are. Shift your attention to what is happening around you instead of what is happening in your head. Pay attention to observing your surroundings, being a good listener, and staying present.
- Practice relaxation techniques – Social anxiety can include uncomfortable or overwhelming physical symptoms. Relaxation techniques can help calm physical reactions so you can focus on managing worry, fear, and anxiety.
These are just a handful of the strategies you will learn through social anxiety disorder treatment in Florida. You will also receive education about anxiety disorders and have support to help you uncover the root causes of your anxiety disorder and process them in healthy ways.
Contact Harmony Hills to Learn More About How to Deal with Social Anxiety
Most people feel anxious in social situations from time to time. However, if your level of anxiety prevents you from interacting with others or causes you to avoid everyday social situations, you may have a social anxiety disorder. Individuals who cut themselves off from most social contact can develop depression, low self-esteem, and substance use disorders. Social anxiety is treatable. Contact Harmony Hills at 855.494.0357 to learn more about dealing with social anxiety through anxiety disorder treatment in Florida.